Ballygowan, Club and MiWadi owner Britvic sees sales fall 16% due to Covid restrictions

The Irish division of the company face a 12.5% loss in revenue owing to the closure of pubs and offices
Ballygowan, Club and MiWadi owner Britvic sees sales fall 16% due to Covid restrictions
Ballygowan owner Britvic's revenues fell 16% in its latest quarter

The maker of Club Orange, MiWadi and Ballygowan water has reported a further decline in sales, of more than 16%, due to the ongoing impact of the Covid-19 pandemic.

British soft drinks group Britvic said overall revenue for the third quarter of its financial year – covering the three months to the end of June - was £328.9m (€364m), down 16.3% compared to the same period last year. 

It said group revenue for the year so far is £1.03bn (€1.14bn), 5.1% down on the first nine months of its last financial year.

The group also owns brands such as Robinsons, Fruit Shoot, Tango, Drench, and Purdey’s and is the main distributor of Pepsi and 7-Up in Ireland.

Britvic has maintained its £12m-£18m per month earnings hit estimate and said it is too early to judge what impact the easing of restrictions in the hospitality sectors in the UK and Ireland will have on its finances in the current year.

Group CEO Simon Litherland said the third quarter shows the full market impact of the Covid-19 lockdown on the business, albeit there has been market share gains for some Britvic products.

In the near-term, he said, “there remains a high degree of uncertainty about the pace and level of full recovery”.

"Looking further ahead, I am confident that the strong momentum we built up going into the pandemic will return," he said.

At the end of May, Britvic reported a 9% year-on-year fall in first half revenues to just under £699m, for the six months to the end of March.

Revenue for the Irish division of the company is down 12.5%

Its Irish division saw first half revenues tumble 12.5% to €89m, due mainly to the closure of pubs and offices amid the Covid-19 restrictions.

Its water cooler business, which supplies Ballygowan to companies, was heavily impacted by the migration to home working and the closure of pubs hit its Counterpoint licensed Irish wholesale division.

Britvic said the Counterpoint business had been “significantly impacted”, with an £8.5m non-cash impairment charge being recognised to write-off the intangible assets, goodwill and PPE relating to the business.

Meanwhile, home improvement retailer Kingfisher forecast first-half underlying profit ahead of last year after exceptionally strong demand for DIY and gardening products during coronavirus lockdowns drove a 21.6% jump in second-quarter same-store sales.

Shares in the group - which owns B&Q and Screwfix in Ireland and Britain and Castorama and Brico Depot in France and other markets, rose more than 14% after it reported particularly stellar sales of plants, compost, decking, paint, wallpaper and tools.

Kingfisher closed its stores during Covid-19 lockdowns across Europe but they gradually re-opened from mid-April.

The group has particularly benefited from bumper online sales, which soared 225.2% in June year-on-year. 

-additional reporting Reuters

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